Code: 378738 A

President Barack Obama "congratulated" Hillary Clinton Tuesday for winning the delegates needed to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination.

"Her historic campaign inspired millions and is an extension of her lifelong fight for middle-class families and children," the White House said in a statement following Clinton's speech celebrating her status as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Obama called both Clinton and her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders Tuesday to applaud them for "running inspiring campaigns that energized Democrats." The President will meet Sanders at the White House on Thursday at the Vermont senator's request, the statement said.

The statement serves as Obama's first acknowledgment of Clinton's elevation to the presumptive Democratic nominee. Reaching the highest peak yet in a tumultuous and trailblazing political career, Clinton wasted no time Tuesday in wooing Sanders supporters and praising his "extraordinary campaign."

"Thanks to you, we've reached a milestone," she said during a speech in Brooklyn. "Tonight's victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible."

Her long-awaited moment of celebration comes as six states held contests that close out a roller-coaster primary season. She will notch wins in the New Jersey and New Mexico Democratic primaries, according to CNN projections, adding a slew of delegates to her column. All eyes are now on delegate-rich California, where Clinton has the early lead but Democratic rival Bernie Sanders is seeking a symbolic victory he hopes would increase his leverage during next month's convention.

Reaching out to Sanders supporters, Clinton praised the Vermont senator for his long public service and mirrored some of his progressive economic rhetoric. She played down any notion of divisions and said their vigorous primary campaign was "very good for the Democratic Party and for America."

Sanders is due to speak later in California and it's unclear whether he'll back down. As Clinton's speech ended, he announced a Thursday rally in Washington, D.C., which holds its primary next week.



Barack Obama Hillary Clinton Democratic nominee
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